First published on 10 Oct 2012. Updated on 26 Feb 2013.
Pour one out for the Waiting Room, folks. Neil Perry’s jewel of a bar in the Crown Casino will no longer be part of his empire as of the 15th of October, when Perry will be handing ownership back to Crown Casino. What will happen to it in terms of name and offering is unclear at this point, but we’ll sure as hell be following head bartender Will Oxenham wherever he goes. Several of the staff are being redeployed to Perry’s new Italian restaurant, Rosetta, which is due to open on the 23rd of October. Stay tuned.
Best. Name. Ever. The teensy new café is gently opening in St Kilda as we speak. The focus here is firmly on coffee while the décor reflects the beavery theme by way of rustic raw wooden tables offset by an enormous wall mounted marlin. They’ll be pushing their own custom roast with some light snacks.
The much-liked café in Richmond is under new management. The gent behind stalwart café Ici in Fitzroy has taken the reins and is implementing a new menu. Stay tuned.
North Richmond is a little different to Richmond proper. An industrial area where coffee is still proudly proudly advertised as HOT. Which likely means that Tree of Us, a new café pledging to caffeinate the community at an appropriate temperature, will be getting a lot of grateful local trade. It’s an all day and night affair set up by three primary school pals – one of whom has done time bashing the Rockpool pans. We’re impressed by the altruistic pledge to use all sustainable ingredients and to donate 20 percent of profits to a tourism based NGO in Bolivia, but if we’re honest, it’s the breakfast burger we’re coming for – essentially all the breakfast things (bacon, chorizo), shoved in a brioche bun. Review to come.
Dave Makin, the guy behind Axil Coffee Roasters is about to open a new café in Albert Park. The opening date is still up in the air (a few weeks time) but you can expect a slick fit out reflective of Axil in Hawthorn, and a similar eat and drink concept to boot. They’ll be doing breakfast and lunch, and obviously serving their own coffee, but, bonus, you’ll also be able to get a breakfast beer. They’ve got a liquor license and plan on damn well using it. So do we.
Michael Cotter, the dude behind that sweet mobile wagon of shrimp Po’ boys and Cajun gumbo has taken a lease for a permanent outlet on Smith Street. The venue is still under construction at the moment, and it will initially be operating as a prep kitchen for the food truck (which is copping a solid beating with the popular stick), but come the summer, you’ll be able to get your Louisiana on without having to follow the van around like a dog. Stay tuned.
Do you know the moustache man? Otherwise known as Senor BBQ (or Hernon Palacio, if you want to get technical) he's the Argentinean dealer of smoky barbecued meats who roams events and festivals, bringing the Latino funk with a big old side of chorizo and chimichurri. Well, thanks to the magic of crowd funding site Pozible (kind of like American site Kickstarter, but for the arts) he’s been able to open his own restaurant on Carlisle Street in Balaclava. Located just underneath the train station, Palacio has been able to expand on the menu here thanks to the installation of a proper Parilla (Argentinean charcoal grill) and having the luxury of time to work magic on things like full racks of ribs which need a long slow smoulder.
The space will also be a Latino cultural hub – in case you’re wondering how he managed to fund a restaurtant through an arts website. Next Tuesday (October 16), Palacio will be holding an event called Immerse Yourself, where only Spanish will be spoken over a three course dinner ($30), and during the world music expo, they’ll be holding a Latino music party and hosting an art exhibition. Check it out.
If there weren’t enough new places springing up, we’re now seeing existing restaurants growing extra arms. Sydney’s just inherited its first MoVida and a Taco Truck, while we’ve taken on Japanese restaurant Saké, Malaysian roti-house Mamak and now, a second Misschu – Vietnamese rice paper roll queen. The shop is due to open in the coming weeks on Toorak Rd.